Samuel lifts his head from the table. It’s the break, everyone has gone out of the classroom except the teacher, who is drawing a giant circle on the blackboard.
Samuel doesn’t recognize that professor but he doesn’t waste too much time on him. He takes out his secret book and opens it.
The words he finds written are: “Body or senses?”.
Another choice. He decides to opt for the body this time.
The words change, and tell of a macabre and sad story. As a child Samuel was abandoned in an orphanage, the war had broken out, soldiers were needed and they were needed immediately… and so some men of the government had come to get him.
They did terrible things to him. They dislocated his limbs, subjected him to physical torture to increase his resistance to pain, made him spend all his time meditating and training.
They made him live for months and months in the dark, so as to develop his sense of hearing; then they made him live for months and months with his ears covered, so as to refine his sense of sight. They tied his right arm on his back to force him to learn to write with his left hand; then they tied one of his leg so as to force him to walk only with one and thus to refine his balance.
They forced him to kill small animals, then bigger and bigger until he killed his first person. They taught him to use every single weapon, and to turn everything into a weapon. Even straws could be used for lethal purposes by him, now.
As a child they used him as a spy. He infiltrated enemy military bases, stole information, overheard secret discussions, murdered inattentive generals … he was a shadow, the night terror of the nation’s enemies.
As a teenager they sent him to the field. He was not armed only with pistols or rifles, he often used other weapons as well, such as sticks, swords, brass knuckles… the weapons changed with each chapter, and he knew how to use them all.
As an adult he had reached the maximum height of control that a man can have over himself and his surroundings. If as a young man he was a perfect war machine as an adult he became something more … an angel of death.
Here too there is a small twist. This Samuel rebelled, he no longer wanted to serve his government, so he made a coup and took power. The politicians who had tortured him had escaped however, and so Samuel began a long series of reprisals and wars to find and track them down.
The story continues more or less like the first one from here. Samuel, having achieved power, enslaves the whole world. He gets worshiped like a god, people crawl at his feet and he crushes them. He uses their blood to do something, a “great work”, and this time we get to see this work because the dream lasts a little longer.
The blood is brought to the moon, and there Samuel personally paints it red.
The boy jerks his head up.
<<I’m happy that you are here, I would be happier if you were also awake though.>>
<<Er, yes, sorry, it’s that I didn’t sleep last night.>>
<<Next time do it then. People come to school to learn, not to sleep.>>
Samuel apologizes once again and lets the lesson resume, and now that he’s awake and lucid he’s also curious. The dream he had … is it really what he thinks it is?
He picks up a pen and turns it over in his hands. The fingers move following a pattern they have done a thousand times, and in the meantime the pen bounces from one side to the other, always poised but never in danger. Samuel has full control over that object. The chances of it falling to the ground because of him are 0.1%.
He takes another pen, the red one, with his left hand, and while with his right he continues to play with the black pen, with his left he begins to draw.
How many minutes does it take? Four? Five? An almost perfect moon has just appeared in his notebook.
He is now ambidextrous.
<<Bro…? >> his desk mate takes his attention; his face is half worried and half astonished <<What happens to you?>>
<<Since when do you draw? With the left hand?>>
<<Er …>> hearing that question to Samuel the most obvious answer comes to mind, that is the memory of the moment in which he learned to do it … too bad that memory is false <<as a child.>> he limits himself to saying , more confused than ever.
<<What the fuck are you saying, until yesterday you didn’t even know how to do a circle!>> his friend teases him with a smile <<Come on, what did you’ve done? Did you take steroids for the brain or something?>>
<<Your mom has steroids.>> he answers <<I didn’t take anything.>>
<<So how do you explain all these things?>> the friend points to the hyper-realistic design of the moon.
So realistic it looks like a photo.
So realistic that it seems made from the book.
<<I … don’t … I don’t know.>>
The friend loosens his smile slightly <<You don’t look so good bro. Are you sure you’re okay?>>
Samuel looks him straight in the eye. He sees his friend … but also a possible enemy. Could he be a spy? A traitor? A double agent? He can’t be trusted.
His gaze immediately highlights all his uncovered points. Eyes, jaw, neck, chest… he’s too “bare”. And he is also too fragile, too thin, too weak. He could kill him in 114 different ways and neutralize him in 237. But why kill him? He might beat him to get a confession and valuable informations. He has pens and papers at his disposal, with these tools he can bring his nervous system to a total collapse.
<<N … no.>> Samuel begins to feel nauseous <<I’m not feeling good …>> suddenly gets up from his chair, shaking.
<<Fortuna?>> calls the teacher.
Samuel raises a hand in apology, but with the other he holds his mouth.
He feels he is going to throw up.
He has the dizzy.
The world around him becomes blurred as the memories of his false past overwhelm him. The memories of a child soldier forced to inhuman training, the tortures that were inflicted on him and that he inflicted to others, the screams of his companions and his victims, his blood and the one of those around him, the tears, the endless fighting, the unjustified hatred, the massacres …
The trauma of the war hits him as hard as a meteor. And this is enough to make him lose consciousness.